Wednesday, November 16, 2016

CD Review: Leroy Powell & The Messengers - The Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation

Leroy Powell & The Messengers
The Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation
Weightlessness 2:20 Time Flies 4:25 King Kong 3:18 The Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation 5:12 Rising 4:03 Brave New World 2:32 Lost in the Future 3:24 Liz 4:42 Brainscan 1:28 Star 3:56 Death Machine 4:02 Checking Out 3:26
Weightlessness opens the album with cosmic psychedelia. It's an instrumental that is slow with heavy synthesizers and transmissions of a lunar landing. When you add the guitar it advances you into that realm of time travel. Just sitting back listening I can envision the first moon landing with Neil Armstrong bouncing across the dust filled surface. To me it just propelled you into the depths of the album title, setting the tone and foreshadowing what is to come.
The digital/synthesized sound is not often done on country albums or any albums much anymore. It reminds me of Rush 2112 how it is used in this song and the opener. Time Flies is definitely unique to the industry. The synthesizers, the keyboard just hit when the power chords come in. The vocal tracks are layered against the drumbeat.
King Kong is reminiscent of Black Sabbath. It has much more of a metal grind combined with raspy vocals and hardcore guitar riffs. Accompanying the lyrics you notice what sounds like screeching almost what I could picture of a falcon with outstretched talons coming down in a blaze of fury.
The Overlords of the Cosmic Revelation, the albums title track is more metal than honkey tonk. It is reminiscent of the 1970's metal that came out at the end of the hippie revolution and disco nights. It is a powerful song that, in my opinion, must have been influenced by Rush, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and the like.
I've been trying to put my finger on the influential bands and/or singers that I can attribute the metal songs on this album and well there are definite differences between the songs and any in particular group or musician. I believe Rising is the song that has finally tripped my memories. Because, the darkness of the lyrics the pure metal of the sound tugged at the neurons and delivered that high school memory of sitting in my friends pickup truck smoking before school and listening Danzig for the first time. The powerful chords mixed with a fierce drumbeat, synthesizers, incredible solos push this song and drive that desire to catch a live show.
Brave New World, is another beautiful acoustic jam, the organ and synthesizers are introduced, and its an instrumental like this that I wish had vocals but even without lyrics it still dances across the eardrums. Lost in the Future, has the glam rock screams with the "Hey!" every few lines. At some points it seems a simple piece yet just when you begin to discount it the complexities of its nature pierce through. The song, Liz, reveals more modern combinations of influences such as STP right off the top of my head.
For me, Brainscan, sort of has a middle Eastern ring to it. It is another instrumental that I wish had lead into a full blown powerhouse, but seemed to stop just as it was beginning. Plus, I have had many brain scans so I could be biased because MRI's delve into the far reaches of the mind and last almost a half an hour. Star is the best song on this album. It seems they deliver exactly on what I was referring to earlier. The acoustic melody and harmony of this track really make up for anything that was lacking for me earlier.
Death Machine and Checking Out are a perfect way to end this album for me although I wish they came at the beginning, or even just a bit earlier. It's difficult to not point out the past bands that I believe have influenced this album, yet Leroy Powell and the Messengers have greatly instilled and expounded upon the artistic expressions of those. For a pure country fan, I wouldn't suggest it but if you are looking for something harder that may bring you back to thinking about those bands you used to love than this might be the perfect album for you.

Jeremy Frost for Country Music News International


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